Reading between the words

February 20, 2010|By Tribune Newspapers and news services

You've likely heard the speech by now, but body language experts saw much more than the words of Tiger Woods.

Patti Wood, author of "Success Signals," told Friday that she was surprised by how tense Woods was when he spoke publicly for the first time since his sex scandal broke in November.

"He could have prepared more," she said of his 13 1/2-minute apology before friends, family and a worldwide TV audience. "The fact that he chose to read so much as opposed to committing to memory - his voice got singsongy. It makes the apology less sincere.

"He said all the right things," Wood said. "It's a really good example of how the verbal and nonverbal were mismatched."

Joe Navarro, who retired as an FBI profiler in 2003, told The Tampa Tribune that Woods' presentation was professionally choreographed, but the words were credible.

"One of the things that lets you know he's struggling with this is just how often you saw the hard swallow that he does, the tension in his face, and so forth," Navarro said. "This is a very humbled, contrite individual, and that's the message that's being delivered."

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